I want to create a dark material in cycles that is strongly reflecting the HDR. That would be no problem with a bright color but a dark color seems to swallow the reflection. Why is that? enter image description here

enter image description here

I tried to increase the brightness of the HDR with RGB-curves but than my bright materials are overexposed.

What node-setup do I need to bring back the reflections in the dark material?

  • $\begingroup$ I edited my post. $\endgroup$
    – user34324
    Jan 12, 2017 at 14:40
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Try mixing a Glossy BSDF with a Diffuse BSDF, And then give the diffuse a color. You should almost never tweak the glossy color. it represent the reflection color (which is almost always whiteISH) for most materials. $\endgroup$
    – Delagone
    Jan 12, 2017 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


"Strongly reflecting" and "dark" are mutually exclusive.

However, maybe all you need to do is decrease the saturation of your material's colour. If the colour contains no red or green components, then there will be no red or green components in the reflected colours and the material will look quite dark.

For example, here are three reflective balls rendered in Cycles. From left to right, the saturation of the blue colour applied to these materials is 70%, 85% and 100%. With a lower saturation, the results look a lot more natural.

blue balls


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